Quebec employers' groups support easier access for workers getting into the construction industry

A construction worker wears a face mask in Montreal, on Nov. 14, 2020. (Graham Hughes / THE CANADIAN PRESS)

Employers' associations in the construction industry are applauding proposed regulatory changes the province wants to adopt that would make it easier for more workers to gain access to the industry.

The Quebec Construction Association (ACQ) and the Quebec Association of Construction and Housing Professionals (APCHQ) are asking Quebec Labour Minister Jean Boulet to move forward with the plan because of a worker shortage in the industry and the growing number of construction sites planned for the years to come.

In December Boulet tabled the changes, which aim to facilitate access to the industry and to keep those already working in construction employed. It could also mean an apprentice could climb the ladder faster.

At the time, Boulet explained that he wanted to offer a work-study alternative to future workers who are enrolled in a vocational training program.

The ACQ is particularly pleased that skills acquired outside the construction industry will be recognized.

As well, the APCHQ is happy that the variety of work an apprentice is allowed to do would be expanded.

In 2019, the industry employed 175,893 skilled workers, but with the expected acceleration of infrastructure projects in the years to come, demand for labour in the construction industry will remain strong.

The Construction Commission wanted to be reassured about possible repercussions related to workers’ skills as well as safety issues. It emphasized that the 'preferred route' to enter the industry is to graduate.

- This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 4, 2021.


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